Thursday, December 01, 2005

On the soundings...

Reading Traveller's post, I remembered all the emotions that came to to the surface during my sounding. Well, have I heeded what I learnt? I hope so. I have finally made that committment to art that I have shirked for so long, have put behind me the fears of the future - I look to the year ahead with renewed hope and inspiration.
I said my dream was to build a safe place, a community where my family and others could find peace and hope in a dangerous world - well, I realised that I had a way to create a place like that, not with bricks and mortar, but with images and words. My birthday gift this year from my darling daughter Mags was a website, a world of my own, as she put it. So I am creating my world there, a haven, a sanctuary, and as my vision comes into being there, I feel less attachment to it in the real world - for a sanctuary, I realise, is not a place but a feeling, and the wonderful people around me already have it.
The soundings are not an easy process - sometimes you have to confront things you would rather not face - but at the heart of it is your own truth. A beautiful thing to have in any world.

Sunday, November 27, 2005


When I first contacted Kiyan I was not entirely sure about the whole idea for I realised I would probably have to do a bit of soulsearching. Anyway, for better or worse I went ahead with it.
As requested, I provided him with my 6 symbols although I inadvertently gave him seven not six. I also gave him some background information regarding my particular situation.

Like Gail, finding the symbols was difficult and eventually I came up with cats, otters, the gemstones fluorite and amethyst, water, my voice, my family and music. The fact that I had included a seventh also changed the focus of the sounding.
I had great difficulty in understanding many of the concepts used by Kiyan. He described, for example, the Trebusca matrix, one of the easier ones, like this:

"By analogy, consider that the Trebusca matrix has now been folded into a cube shaped Lantern. Each of the six sides has four Lens, 14 of which are 'smudged' by the influence of your situation. For a Sounding, a beam of energy is sent in through two Lens -- those selected by the Duuran Casting. The Beam of Insight bounces around inside and comes out through the other Lens to form a projection. Those with smudges bias the projection, but only within the limits of the Lens definition. Those without smudges allow "Ideal Light" to pass through. "

I have tried to reproduce it pictorially using a lighthouse lens. Coincidentally? (no such thing) the tarot card I have used for the background is that of the Magician. I felt like an insect pinned to an entomologist's board in the blinding light of examination.

Kiyan was at pains to point out that "I consider the revealed options with as little judgment as I can manage and write the Soundings at a single sitting -- letting it "flow through me." The resulting statements do not reveal 'facts' or 'truths' or 'future events'. They do provide a means of awakening you to possibilities and values you may never have considered; and possibly narrow the range of your perceived choices. The most probable outcome is a heightened confidence in following your eventual choices -- thereby increasing its likelihood of success."

Sounding one
How I see myself
"You see yourself grounded in the Practical level through necessity and feel a need to defend this position beyond reason. You know that your special talents in music, art and 'healing' have been suppressed -- at first willingly, but now you doubt the validity of these choices".

He hit the nail right on the head with this

"Your heart speaks to you of generosity and discovery, but you suppress these as selfish and manipulative (whining?) out of fear of disturbing the balance of your marriage and job."

I don't make my works of art for money but love. I don't feel selfish about this. I certainly don't feel manipulative!

"You yearn for realization of your intuitive and creative side"
Yes, yes, yes!

"even to 'learning from shadows'. Your conditioning (and perhaps culture) tells you to look for answers in the arrival of a stranger, or new source of vitality. You are fearful of this. Do not be, for the answers are not found there. What you seek is not in the 'ethereal' plane, but in exploration of 'innate' powers found within yourself. YOU KNOW THIS!

You know that such a change will require crossing barriers, taking risks and 'growing' -- all that you 'believe' cannot happen."

I don't feel trapped but frustrated that there are not enough hours in my day to allow me to create all that I want to create.

Sounding two - how others see you

"Your friends and associates do not see you as you see yourself at all. They easily relate to your subtlety, gracefulness and artistic side, and wonder why you don't 'make more of yourself'. If one could ask any of them, "Does she have a touch of ancient wisdom and power?" they would all say yes."

Not all but some - those who are more 'aware' perhaps. Not for nothing then, I have in the past, on a couple of occasions, been described, albeit jokingly, as a witch.

"You are a welcome part of any group or committee because you listen and look for ways to support the ideas of others, but rarely crusade your own. You are accepted as more of a follower than leader."

Definitely true.

"They hear your words (usually good advice), but sense that you were thinking of many alternatives based in conceptual wisdom, passionate detachment and timing as to why things must change in a situation.

Think of yourself as an owl who has never been allowed to fly."

Sounding three - follow

"Usually this indicates the potential for beneficial growth without major changes in the structure of the situation, i.e. changes in yourself will overcome situation.

You are already doing profound things in art. You can do the same with music -- not by surrounding yourself in symphonic noise, but by 'being' musical. Who cares if someone else thinks you can sing well -- do it anyway. You have been taught to 'believe' that you cannot -- you 'know' better. Do not even try to sing learned melodies or rhythms. Go to the woods or in a closet -- and sing what you feel.

Somewhere in this process you will find 'faith' in yourself -- and more."

It took me a while to digest what the sounding had revealed but it will enable me to go forwards, perhaps with a different focus, from now on and it has given me a good idea where I need to make some changes.
My thanks to Kiyan for this.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Kiyan’s second Sounding

Kiyan begins by saying `` The re-Casting of Second Sounding within the refined Lantern Matrix supports the impression of others that you are independent and can offer ‘pure’ advice, but that they will often fear your confidence - Actually, the danger they sense is that you may become consumed by an idea or dogma, which can lead to self-delusion. .”
I have often been consumed in this way, caught in the grip of obsession from which I have finally freed myself more because it became `old’ rather than a conscious, sensible decision on my part. I saw it for an illusion long before it lost its hold on me, but continued to cling to it. Why? Because I could not admit to myself that I had thrown away my time and energy.
Am I wiser now, and past that obsessional trait? I hope that I can recognise the signs of it, and step back before I get lost in the maze of my own emotions, but like a recovering alcoholic, one can never say one is truly free of it. It does make you question the certainty that `fate’ has a hand in it, and that you are at the mercy of forces greater than yourself, because that proves not to be the case. In the end, it is by your own motivation that you step back from the edge.

Of great interest is that the perceived qualities mentioned above are grounded in the INNATE plane rather than the more common CONCEPTUAL level. This could indicate that the ‘uneasiness’ others feel around you is because your thoughts appear to relate to unknown and even spiritual concepts, but are in fact based in ‘tribal memory’ and knowledge of ‘universal rules’.

Ah, now I feel completely at home with this piece of information. As I am required to examine what I would call my personal `code’ here, I would say `tribal memory’ has a lot to do with. I feel as if I am carrying some knowledge within me that comes as part of my basic equipment, and that it is this knowledge I draw on to know how to act or react in certain situations. It works in many ways – if you present a tribal person with some technology they have never seen before, they react as if it is magic – but it is only out of their experience. Confront the techie with some of the things the tribal person deals with calmly every day and you would see the same reaction.
So I feel instinctively as if this knowledge I draw on doesn’t always fit the situation – because much of it is out of my experience, or out of the experience of where the knowledge comes from. I used to think I was alone in this – but now I realise there are far more of us than I thought.

As I have worked through this extraordinary process I have been called upon to examine what I really feel, not what I believed I should feel, and to say what I mean, not what I think people would like to hear from me.
One of the most important discoveries, to me, is that I am not this thoughtful, measured, responsible person I hoped to become – I am an impulsive hothead who has dived in where angels fear to sink, who draws on something inside that even I do not fully comprehend, and no shining example to my children, but instead the instigator of their rebellion.
Of course, they have already told me that several times, but I ducked the responsibility of owning up to it. I pointed to a long line of rebellious souls in their lineage – I, I believed, was the one to bring order out of the chaos. Instead I have been one of its disciples.
Maybe now I am beginning to understand that it is not up to me to create this perfect hideaway from the world that I have envisaged. I offered myself as a channel to bring these people into the world to change things in their own way, not in my way. As I watch them scatter and go about their lives, I hurt inside, but I have to understand that I cannot keep them forever in the protection of the nest. Just a couple of nights ago I stood with my daughter and her family and said goodbye as they started the trip back home. I hugged my grandchildren and I felt as if my heart was being torn out of me. With the night sky above, and the diesel engine of their vehicle chugging, I was reminded of my youth, and the many night journeys we took as travellers. Always moving on, always saying goodbye to friends and family – but always carrying ties that have never broken in spite of the distances.
Just a day or so before, my own mother discovered she has a brother – she was adopted as a child and never knew him. Their joy at being reunited has opened my eyes and my heart to hope again – she will never meet her own mother (the adoption was not the fault of that poor lady) but from what my newly discovered uncle has said I think I know at last the identity of the angel who looks after this family. I have always felt there was an angel `riding on our shoulders’, a loving presence around us.
Faith has always been the bedrock of my existence – not a faith that relies on temples, churches or paraphernalia, but a simple belief in the rightness of things and the beauty of nature (all beauty, all love, has a wellspring, whatever name we give it). But it has been a shabby little thing trying to wave its ragged flag at half mast lately.

Kiyan in the second sounding points to a choice of outcomes -

Surprise! Nothing is static – there is no, “just sit and do nothing.” Within this range of comfort, you can either work to accentuate existing beliefs and skills; or work to shift from a belief base to a knowledge base.

The first offers a greater sense of soul and beauty, including discoveries of hidden beauties, sensitivity and power. However, the gain in `happiness’ may be balanced by a loss of `contentment’ and some relationships.

In the second case you are actually seeking ‘wisdom’. This will require you to re-evaluate your goals, value systems and ‘gut feelings’ on which you rely. The purpose is not to change them, but to put them in proper perspective as ‘working tools’ in your arsenal.

The major obstacle is the you were taught (and still believe) that spiritual solutions must be found in either greater belief in the ethereal or divine, or gaining some control of the Conceptual zone of magick, prayer, clairvoyance , etc. In truth, such spiritual answers can also be found in searching your 'tribal knowledge' and the basic Covenant between God and Humanity.
You must find WISDOM, which can only come from applied knowledge to PRACTICAL situations. As long as you remain grounded in believing instead of knowledge, such a shift cannot happen.

In truth, I had some time back realised the futility of trying to control the unknown through such applications as astrology and tarot and other forms of divination. However I still felt that my real problem is that I don’t believe enough, or have enough faith. I have always had conflict with the concept of manifesting, or asking the universe to deliver something specific – to my way of thinking its like the kids only turning up to see you when they want money. Aha, I thought, it doesn’t work for me because I don’t believe it enough.
But perhaps that is my innate knowledge making itself known – that way is not for me. My own simple faith is the way for me, with no strings attached, and no conditions of gain (give me this and I’ll believe in you) and evaluating again my skills of endurance, problem solving and acceptance.
I have not come to the end. What Kiyan has opened up is possible roads, not just one, and what he has done is remind me of who I am and why I do the things I do. I hope others who meet this wise man in the glade will feel encouraged to talk of the experience as well.
I feel the wind at my back. I am closer to knowing who I truly am, and I ride the wind.


Friday, October 07, 2005

More on the Sounding part 1

This observation by Kiyan is quite startling in its truth and clarity:

Yet you do not trust your abilities in this 'magickal/prayer' level, and have lost your trust in PRACTICAL methods that used to work. You used to enjoy gentle competition and even 'battling wits' with friends and enemies. Now you are not sure it is worth the effort. Generally, you 'like' yourself, but do not like what you may have to become to deal with 'reality'.

The comment on `battling wits’ with friends and enemies and feeling that now it is `not worth the effort’ really resonated with me. Quite often, I feel that way now, and yes, at base, the reason for most of my unease is that I have reshaped myself to `fit in’ to be able to deal with the world the way it is – what I perceive, or have come to perceive, as `reality’.

How will I deal with this insight? What can I draw from it?

When my children were very young I made the decision to send them to regular school rather than home school. I had been home schooled and felt that, while I had learned to read and write better than any regular school student, I moved into the adult world with no real experience of what it would be like – lacking social skills, I believe is the phrase. Not lacking social skills in my own traveller world, you understand, but in the settled world, where I was to spend the rest of my life. I brought a traveller’s consciousness to the settled world, and it was very much like trying to fit a piece from a different jig saw puzzle. I remember once visiting the house of one of my daughter’s school friends. It was completely devoid of furniture. The family had a huge loan for the house and had no money left to furnish it. So they were waiting for the bank to agree to lend them more money so they could buy furniture.

More than anything, this was descriptive of the difference between my world and theirs. My father built our homes – our first home was an ex army ambulance that he converted into a motor home. Travellers didn’t deal with banks. They made things themselves. My husband was no carpenter, but he managed to craft up a pretty decent set of shelves and a coffee table when we needed them.

We taught this self sufficiency to the children, but we also needed they needed to understand the world they were growing up in. Our world was gone – they needed to learn to live in the world the way it is.

Another snapshot flash – my son at school sports day, talking to his teacher. Mothers in sneakers were running alongside their children, screaming encouragement or abuse, depending on whether the kid was in the lead or not.
``Where’s your mother?”
My son: ``Oh, she can’t run, she’s the one in high heels.”
My son loves this story, he laughs with affection at his crazy mother who turned up to sports day in high heels. This is the same son who likened me to a wild horse – with the same pride and love. A wild horse in high heels – how well he knows me!

Thinking back on all this now, I realize how worried I was that I `fit in’, that we all `fit in’ – just turning up to sports day at all was indicative of that. And I realize that it never worked. Today my kids say they are thankful for the self sufficiency lessons, not the algebra – for our encouragement – nay, our insistence – that they be accepting of all cultures and people who are `different’. Those are the friendships they still treasure.

For all my talk, I have never accepted the world `the way it is’ if the way it is is loaded with racism, violence and facist control of creativity. What I was actually doing was saying to my kids, `this is the world the way it is, we are here to change it’, something they clearly understood better than I did.

So thank you, Kiyan – I here and now firmly state that I have never, will never, don’t WANT to `fit in’, it’s not me and I don’t like the person I have to be to do it. All my problems about life are `fitting in’ with it, not understanding that I have to like who I am and what I do and have faith in my ability to make the right choices. I set that moment aside until I am pushed up against the edge and have to jump – and why is that? Not because I am an unfortunate soul who gets pushed around, but because I LIKE it – I like the reckless leap into the unknown, I continually put myself in situations where I have to do it. I have to know that about myself, embrace it and work with it.

Kiyan goes on to discuss the way I am perceived by others – as more powerful than I see myself. As I said before, that relates to the way I was brought up. We did solve our own problems, we did come up with solutions. That was how the people I come from lived their lives. It never occurred to me that people might see this as some strange `power’ and I was always disconcerted by the reactions – years ago, when I was doing astrology charts for people, I had one woman ringing me up all the time, saying things like, ``I’ve been invited out by someone, what sign’s the moon in, will it work out?” Oh for Heaven’s sake, just GO to the movies! I would tell them over and again that it was all in their own hands, that all I did was `speak’ astrology, like translating something from another language, and that it wouldn’t always make sense or be what they wanted to hear, and in the end I stopped. The woman I spoke of studied astrology herself and interpreted her findings the way she wanted them. That’s the problem – wanting a certain outcome and manipulating the information to fit. That again, is setting aside the responsibility for your own choices - `fate made me do it’.

Then, as they perceive (hope) for more that you can provide, they are sometimes disappointed and become withdrawn -- often for extended periods.

My pride may also be a factor here – when I was younger and more energetic, I tackled everything head on and refused to give in. Now I am older and often feel fed up with the fact that life is still unfair and I still have to pick up my cudgels against injustice, I also find it harder to come up with solutions. I am becoming, I fear, one of those annoying older people who think the young can’t figure it out for themselves. I must take a moment to stand back and let them take up the baton as well. Some of them have already done it and their frustration may be due to the fact that I don’t see how much they are doing on their own. Ouch, Kiyan, that one stings. But wasn’t that my mission all along – to pass it along. I laughed at my husband because he is an old lion grumbling about the younger ones not heeding his advice. It’s their world, I said. But I must stop sucking on my own paws.

FOLLOW -- the main thought to be gathered at this point from these Casters is that you will have a far greater impact on people than now and in the past.

I am a great fan of David Suzuki – I am taken with his concept of eldership and hope to attain that in my third age – there is so much to learn from animals and nature, I feel as if I am beginning again to appreciate and respect the natural world. Today I watched a white and a yellow butterfly dancing on the breeze – The elder tree outside is in full bloom and covered in white butterflies. When I was young my father would take me fishing and point out things in nature that I hadn’t noticed – a rabbit in the grass, a broken thrush’s egg. I did the same thing with my children, and now with my grandchildren – pointing out to them the small miracles around us every day.

I seem to be rambling but this is the train of thought this first sounding has set me on – that as an elder I have more to offer than advice, that it doesn’t matter if the kids know better how this thing works than I do, because I still have the ability to open their eyes to the small miracles. I sense a purpose and a mission here, maybe one I have had all along, and didn’t know it, but followed it anyway, by instinct.

Kiyan, I am going back outside to watch the butterflies. I will be thinking of you.


Friday, September 30, 2005

Limora's Glade

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Sally was quiet because she was listening. She didn't have to talk to understand. The trees moved close to her and they sang....Tree branches bowed and waved in joyful play -- responding to the breeze -- a thought not felt on cheek or golden hair.

Kiyan’s first sounding part 1

Kiyan’s first sounding contained a number of things that `pinged’ with me. For example, this sentence:
Changes in the world around you have forced your PRACTICAL alignment from one of belief to knowledge -- and you do not like this.
One of the difficulties I have is figuring `how it works’ – when it comes to trying to fit in and work with the system, I’m like Ozzie Osborne with a remote control. I call for help from one of my kids, who grew up in this different world and know the secret is knowing which button does what.
When I was a kid I believed absolutely in the world I knew – the changing of the seasons, living close to the patterns of nature, using your instinct to find your way. None of this works now. In fact, I have come to distrust my instinct and `signs’ so strongly that I avoid them if possible. Simply because they are old technology, old `magick’ if you will, and don’t work well in the world I find myself in now.
Now I have to read the manual, and Kiyan is right – I do NOT like it.

I am having a little trouble with the terms as I read on – Kiyan speaks of the Conceptual Plane and the Practical Plane. The former I am interpreting as the `idea’ of a thing (or as the dictionary says `idea of the attributes common to a class of things’ – not making it much clearer); the latter I see as the `hands on’ doing aspect, and suggests I shift some beliefs from the conceptual to the practical, an alchemical process. This I take to mean I attempt to transmute some of the leaden ideas lying around my psyche into creative gold (although I am well aware alchemy is more than that, this analogy seems to fit here.)
One of those leaden ideas, I think, is that it is all about ME – yet, as I work on my Frida Kahlo retablo, I realise that she did actually achieve this alchemy, turning it into the gold of her paintings. ``I paint self portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.'
Thus I am reminded that, whether I avoid it or not, synchronicity and signs still make themselves felt, like an insistent shoe brush salesman who pops up at your window after you’ve chased him off the doorstep.

Kiyan went on to make a critical point about my craving for a `cleared path’ while still desiring a high degree of `free spirit’. This relates directly to how I was raised, and brings my father into the picture. I have inherited a lot of his traits, and freedom was his religion. Like him, I chafe if restricted to a routine, yet, like my mother, I fall easily into a routine and enjoy comforts. She missed the comforts of the settled life when she joined the travelling life – things settled people take for granted, like bathrooms and toilets. Like my parents arguing over freedom versus convenience, there are two people at war in me – one who wants to say `sod it’ and seek total freedom, and one who constantly reminds me how much I enjoy having a hot shower.
Social obligations and routine chafe the free spirit, but she goes remarkably silent on the subject of giving up her comforts.
As Kiyan says: One representation of this Casting is that of the 'fireside cat'. You are in a comfort zone embracing your sensual, artistic side, and fear losing this comfort if your 'get up and stretch' in the practical world. While you should be able to observe situations without judgment and make good decisions, you force yourself into indecision and then have to rely on others -- often with unhappy results.
One of those uncomfortable observations that I have to reluctantly admit is true – and I must ask myself, at this point, if I am the author of my own story or if I am letting other people write the chapters because I have lost the plot – or perhaps because I am dimly trying to follow a plot familiar to me, but unapplicable in my current circumstances?

Lots of food for thought here, lots to digest.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Presense - Glade


I would tell you of the glade the Gusari has chosen,
so that if you chance to wander by after he has gone,
you’ll know right off what is of what, and stuff like that.

This is to say that whatever spot he chooses is haven,
and wherever he gives council becomes a glade by right,
which has nothing to do with number of trees and such.

So what I will describe isn’t rightly what you would see,
‘cause the sum of he and thee would be different
and the world would find a different balance – sort of.

Anyway – before I confuse myself, I’ll just get on with it –
trying to give you a feel of the magick that transpires
when I remember – or by remembering be as now.

See, it’s important to me to have trees and boulders,
leaves, waterfalls and flowers and birds hid but loud;
‘cause that was where I found peace as a little kid.

When I hunkered down across from the Gusari,
he wrapped me in this memory gentle slow,
allowing me to choose what was important, and all.

I know we talked about a lot of things – problems and fears,
but don’t recall the questions or specific answers either –
just know he mostly listened me though an hour or two.

I don’t remember leaving, or what my problems were exactly;
but now I have a couple of simple things to do
so as my journey will be in balance if I choose.

Best be, I know that all I need do to return to this glade
is whisper his name, and rub this pebble gift from his hand;

but that’s another story all together, you understand

Musing in the Glade - Ancient Song

Inside it seems there is some kind of balance
finally - to see,
and some kind of new logic,
an ancient song,
uncommon sense.

The peace of the Glade is not always there in real life -
can it be trusted to be enough if I go that way?

Is solitude/gathering/idealism ideal?
Will it sustain me?

To withdraw from common judgement
and see in new ways,
to reach into the ancient and find food there -
that is the way and the rich life.

The perilous path that spawns the changes,
ridden and trodden by those who choose it,
or it chooses you,
depending on everything and nothing.

I sit in the sunshine glade and breathe,
with closed eyes
and a red glow.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Thoughts on the Duuran process

I still want time to thoroughly read and digest Kiyan's soundings, but here are my experiences of the process so far:

Kiyan asked me to list six symbols of importance to me. This took some doing as I don't wear symbols or carry talismans. I had to look around my environment, my writings, my everyday life to see what recurred - the first thing that I noticed was the wheel. This is a recurring theme, particularly in writing - I once wrote a long philosophical poem called the Wheel, but I won't inflict it on you here.

The Wheel is also a powerful symbol in the earliest Tarot I ever saw, not the familiar tarot, but a set of Gypsy fortune cards owned by my grandmother. I designed a saet of Romany cards based on the symbols I remembered from that set, and included the wheel - and of course, the Wheel of Fortune is a Major Arcana card as well, and one I often turn up in readings. So it seemed to me that the Wheel was a strong symbol in my life, I felt an affinity with it, and I listed it.

The next symbol came to me very quickly - the Horse. Horses have always been a big part of my life, but what clinched it was remembering something my son said years ago - he likened me to a wild horse and said the horse was my spirit animal, something I understood immediately was the simple truth.

Colour is important to me, since I have loved art since I was a small child - but the one colour I love most is the colour of the ocean, that deep jade blue green gemlike colour. I use it often, try to reproduce it, wear it - it recurs in my life and qualified as a symbol.

Then it got hard - finally I chose lavender for the next symbol because like the others, it is a common recurring theme for me. I specifed wild lavender - not sure why, but that's how it came out so I left it.

Looking around, I saw some religious symbols in my life - a statue of Buddha given to me by my daughter, a small brass Buddha my son gave me, a picture of my favourite Indian God, Ganesh - but only one - how shall I put this - gives me an emotional reaction. I have a small statue of Kwan Yin, and I love her dearly. Her counterpart in Indian mythology, Lakshmi, is currently one of my projects as I remake an Indian doll into a shrine for Duwali, the Festival of Lights. I showed my children this celebration when they were small and they loved lighting the candles and leaving gifts for the Goddess. So it seemed this Goddess is a recurring theme as well, and I included her.

Finally the Celtic Knot - simply because it is a symbol of who I am, a Celt and a traveller, Irish born and still steeped in the lore I heard as a child.It wasn't easy to make this list - as a young woman I surrounded myself with symbols and would have had difficulty choosing, but lately I haven't given it much thought.

Yet when I did look, I was surprised to see that some symbols still so persist.I wrote them down pretty much as I thought of them, in an instinctual way, and did not at that time, add any details or thoughts on why or how I chose them. I'm not sure now if I should have done that for Kiyan, but it seemed the proper way at the time.

Meadow Near the Gusari Glade